Section T:
Families

Families with children who have intellectual disabilities are like other families; however, having a child with special needs often thrusts them into situations that may make their everyday lives more challenging. Special Olympics Texas allows families the opportunities to be a part of a year-round sports training and competition program which provides the entire family with opportunities for sports, social interaction and fun.

Special Olympics Texas provides an opportunity:

  • For families to share in the accomplishments of their children.
  • To share the Special Olympics joy with other families.
  • To allow the extended family the opportunity to be part of a year-round sports training and competition program.

Families are Special Olympics Texas’ most powerful resource. Families help coach, transport, fundraise, officiate, chaperone and train other volunteers. Families are Special Olympics’ most highly motivated and enthusiastic goodwill ambassadors. The Special Olympics Texas families program provides educational and legal information, support and compassion to families of children with intellectual disabilities.

The Special Olympics Texas families program offers support through:

  • Newsletters.
  • Families Handbook (downloaded from our website).
  • Fun area family activities like picnics and banquets.
  • Family line of souvenirs (look for the family welcome booth at chapter events).
  • Family education hospitality booths/tables at Special Olympics events.
  • The area and chapter family of the year awards.
  • Family home training programs which assist in sports training and physical conditioning.
  • Family resource guide.
  • Area network directories.
  • Adult outreach focus area experts.
  • Family Support Network Committee members
  • Resource Fair vendors at Chapter Games.

Since families are such an integral part of SOTX, we are trying to capture the family information of new and existing families using the Family Registration Form. This form should be filled out by all family members and submitted to the area or chapter office. This information will help us to disperse Special Olympics information to all families of SOTX athletes.

If you would like to provide activities for families in your area and promote family involvement, Special Olympics Texas will provide you with a families manual (produced by Special Olympics, Inc.).

The title of the families manual is “The Power Behind the Glory That is Special Olympics: Families.”

The manual gives activity ideas for the following topics:

  • Family Involvement
  • Utilizing Families Effectively
  • Family Committees
  • Families and Games
  • Developing a Family Involvement Action Plan
  • Family Camps and Family Days
  • Family Home Training
  • Family Members Becoming Coaches

Special Olympics Texas encourages you to find support through the many organizations that exist for family members such as:

  • National Parent Teachers Association (PTA)
  • Parent to Parent Network - PATH Project
  • Exceptional Parent Magazine
  • National Information Center for Children and Youth with Disabilities (NICHY)
  • National Association of State Directors of Special Education
  • President’s Committee on Employment of the Handicapped
  • Administration of Developmental Disabilities
  • Family Resource Coalition
  • National Parent Network on Disabilities
  • The Arc (formerly the Association for Retarded Citizens)
  • Beach Center on Families and Disability
  • Texas Project First
  • Department of Health and Human Services (Formerly DADS)
  • Texas Parent 2 Parent
  • Private Providers Association of Texas (PPAT)
  • Provider Alliance for Community Services of Texas (PACSTX)
  • Texas State Independent Living Council
  • Coalition of Health Services

Family/Guardian Code of Conduct

The Family/Guardian Code of Conduct is designed to assist parents and friends in abiding by the mission and philosophy of Special Olympics. Respect for all persons associated with Special Olympics Texas will be expected.

This code will be used on an as-needed basis. Its intended purpose is to clarify expected behaviors of family and friends attending Special Olympics events.